I feel that what I teach in this lesson is probably the most essential lesson we could learn in order to be the most effective witness for the Kingdom Of God, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel. These principles of successful witnessing will not only be effective for the Church, but will be essential in dealing with the world in everyday life as well.
There are three basic fundamental principles that everyone of us needs to know and put into practice in order to be successful when witnessing or conversing with others. Now, I try to put these principles into practice every day. Sometimes I’m not as successful as I should be or want to be, but I make an honest attempt because I feel that is what God wants me to do. It’s what God wants all of us to do especially if we are Born Again Christians.
Principle number one is the most fundamental , the most basic principle of all, and each of us has it already within us whether we realize it or not; whether we use it or not. We still possess it within us. We can’t really be successful without using it. A sales person cannot be successful at sales without it. A pastor or minister or evangelist or teacher or witness cannot get people to listen to them without it.
You know, there is a difference in getting someone to listen to what we have to say as opposed to them simply hearing what we have to say. The old saying is, “That just went in one ear and out the other.” We want what we have to say to register in people’s minds and heart. If we want to show people we possess something better and yet we don’t use this principle, they’re not going to believe us, and maybe not even give us the time of day. Also, this principle I’m talking about is so simple that when I share what it is with you, you may be surprised.
You’ll have trouble making friends or acquaintances if you don’t use this most fundamental , most basic principle of people interaction. And the reason is, we don’t think about it that much. And, if you don’t interact with people properly, you will not be a successful witness to them. You won’t be able to communicate with them properly. You won’t be able to get and keep their attention. This principle or characteristic I’m referring to is a physical rather than an unseen characteristic. Jesus had this principle even though we don’t hear it preached much in our churches. Jesus had a very dynamic, outgoing personality and he had to have this principle and use it or else people wouldn’t probably have given him the time of day; and Jesus wants each of us to use this principle of successful witnessing as well. This principle works successfully in both the natural and Spiritual realm. It works in the Church world as well as the natural world. The secular world as well as the Christian world.
We can be serious and still use it. We can be happy and still use it. We can be sad and still use it. It is the most basic, fundamental principle in life that we can and must possess; not the only principle by any means, but the most basic and essential when witnessing or interactively communicating with others.
Is it born again salvation? That’s important but it is not what I am talking about here. Is it love, or understanding of the needs of others? Could it be doing good deeds, paying tithes and giving offerings and helping others? These are things we should do; things God requires of us as Christians but that is not what I’m talking about here. This life principle; this Jesus principle of successful witnessing is so simple that once you hear what it is, you’ll probably say, “Well, why didn’t I think of that?” We’ll never be completely successful witnesses for Jesus without this number one, most fundamental, most basic life principle. Are you ready for me to share with you this simple principle of successful witnessing? Here it is. Write this down. Memorize it and put it into practice in your everyday dealings with people. This principle is, very simply, SMILE, AND BE FRIENDLY! Smile and be friendly when interacting with others. You see, old prune face will never get anywhere in life. Oh, he or she may make money and own property and possess STUFF, but they’re still a looser! Smile and be friendly. That is basic, number one stuff. You’ll be surprised how blessed you will be everyday by doing this. You will be amazed how many people will talk with you and be friendly with you and carry on a conversation with you and even help you out in life if you will just smile and be friendly toward others. You can even conquer your own shyness and backwardness if you will just follow this simple principle.
If a visitor should come into your church, make an effort to introduce yourself and welcome them. Show them you care. Show them you’re interested in them. If they’re unsaved, you may be the one who causes them to want what Jesus has to offer; eternal life. Peace of mind. Security.
Don’t let shyness stop you from being friendly. Don’t let pride stop you from being friendly toward others. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Don’t be too proud to shake a person’s hand and introduce yourself, and show friendliness.
The book of Proverbs tells us, in Prov. 18:24, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.” Solomon didn’t say that of his own accord, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost! It is a tried and true proven principle of life. Nobody likes or appreciates a snob. So, follow that basic number one fundamental principle of successful people interaction and witnessing to others. SMILE AND BE FRIENDLY!
Principle number two is just as important as principle number one and that is, “God gave us two ears and one mouth. He expects us to do twice as much listening as talking!”
When we’re conversing with or trying to witness to others, we need to listen to what they have to share. Each of us loves to talk about our wants and needs and accomplishments.
Sometimes we get carried away talking. We need to let the other person we’re conversing with or witnessing to tell about their needs, their wants, their accomplishments. We need to show empathy and concern for the other person. Be considerate of the other person when witnessing or conversing with them. To keep their attention, we need to sympathize with the other person’s needs or problems. Pay attention to them when they’re talking to you. Don’t look away, act impatient, or glance around continuously. Use direct eye contact. Use the other person’s name often in conversation. A person’s name is to them the most important sound they could hear. Maintain politeness, patience, and persistence to establish yourself as a successful positive influence and witness. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to what the other person has to say then follow through with what you have to share.
Be warm and enthusiastic and give the other person your full attention. People will love you for it! Your pastor or evangelist wants your full attention when he’s preaching or teaching, by the way. If you want to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ, put these principles into practice every day and in every situation in life. We cannot alienate people from us and be an effective witness to them. Instead of driving people away from us, we need to draw them to us in order to get their full attention. It’s then we can successfully share our heart and thoughts and ideas and capture the attention of others with our message.
Jesus had time to listen to people. He took time to empathize and sympathize with the other person. The example of the woman at the well, Mary and Martha, Peter, James and John, and many more Biblical examples, show us that Jesus had time for others and their physical and spiritual needs. We should do the same.
To really be pleasing to God, we need to put the needs of others before our own needs. Jesus gave us that example. We should follow it. Wouldn’t you agree? LISTEN.
Principle number three. It is just as fundamental, basic and important as the other two principles. And, here it is. “You only get one chance to make a good first impression!” Remember this. You can’t go back and meet a person AGAIN for the first time. If you blow it, If you turn somebody off, you’ll likely never get their complete confidence again. Follow principle number three especially when meeting someone for the first time. Gain their confidence and trust in you and you will be able to be an effective witness to them. Carry authority and conviction in your voice. Speak in such a way people can sense the authority of what you are saying.
When meeting someone for the first time, smile, look them in the eye, give them a sincere, firm handshake. Tell them your name and that you’re glad to make their acquaintance. They will likely respond in kind. Let people know you appreciate the opportunity to get to know them.
Psalms 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity.” To have true unity, you must make a good first impression.
So, if you follow the Jesus principle for successful witnessing, you will experience the true success you may be searching for in dealing with others both out in the world as well as the family of God. Remember these principles. Put them into practice. Let them become an essential part of you and your personality. Live them. Be them. Use them and you will be an effective witness for The Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel! You will see the results of your labor.
Jesus, in John chapter 7 gave us an example of this. He said in verse 17 & 18, “If any man will do his will (speaking of God), he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” In other words, Jesus is saying that he does not speak to draw attention to or glorify himself, but he points to God. Self glorification is not nearly as important as lifting up the other person.
Make the other person, the one you are conversing with, the person you are witnessing to, feel important and they will respect you and listen to you more. Then, you can tell them about Jesus and what He can do for them. They’ll love you for it. If they don’t, it’s not your fault, but their own choice to decide to accept or reject him.
Our goal should be to make a good, positive and lasting first impression on people so that we can be a good, positive and lasting witness to people and win their confidence.
Then, we can hear him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I’ll make you ruler over many.”
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